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Viewing: PHYSCS 3150W bompadres : Introduction to Modern Physics - Writing Intensive

Last approved: Tue, 01 Nov 2016 20:55:02 GMT

Last edit: Tue, 01 Nov 2016 20:53:55 GMT

Proposal Type

Writing Intensive

Contact Information

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Term for Proposal

Summer 2017

Course Catalog Information

Physics (PHYSCS)
Introduction to Modern Physics - Writing Intensive
Relativistic kinematics and Lorentz transformations; historical basis for quantum mechanics; atomic structure; physics of solids; nuclear structure and decay.
A-F (allow student to choose S/U option)
PHYSCS 2760.

Instructor Information

(numbers only)
NTT Assistant Professor
223 Physics

The Campus Writing Program conducts a two-day faculty workshop to assist with the design and implementation of your writing intensive course. Once your course proposal has been approved by the Campus Writing Program, you will receive information on time, date and location of the workshop.
Indicate below if additional instructors are planned, but specific individuals have not yet been chosen. Check all that apply

Briefly describe the qualifications of the known graduate instructors, or planned qualifications if graduate instructors are still to be selected, bearing in mind that graduate students teaching honors courses should be advanced students with a record of excellent teaching.

Honors Course Information

Answer the questions below as they would apply to one section. For all other sections, provide similar information in the Additional Sections Information box below.



Writing Intensive Course Information

The course will provide an introduction to modern physics, such as the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, including their application to atomic, statistical, molecular, nuclear and solid state physics. The course is calculus based and relies heavily on problem solving and essay writing.
I plan to use more peer review. I used it last semester for one of the assignments and students liked it very much. They found the process very helpful because when reading what somebody else wrote they realize the mistakes they make in their own writing. Also it compels them to provide a better draft to avoid embarrassment... Based on last semester experience I will provide a more detail rubric for the peer review this time.
Self paced?
Should this course be considered for funding?

Large Enrollment Courses:

Writing Intensive Assignments

Assignment #1
There will be two main writing assignments (papers). Each assignment will address different aspects of an important discovery in modern physics that (i) is relevant to the course, and (ii) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics or Chemistry.

The first assignment (6 pages revised) will consist of a detailed paper on a Nobel Prize winning discovery, (for example: the discovery of the wave nature of electrons, or the invention of the transistor), with emphasis on the importance of the discovery. This paper should be addressed to a broad, intelligent audience, with no special background in that particular area of modern physics in which the discovery was made. The presentation should be technical but it must be easily accessible to any natural scientist. The style of the essay should be similar to the articles published in Nature, Science or Physics Today, including title, an abstract, and a list of carefully chosen references at the end. Besides the content, special emphasis will be on the format and style of the essay. Also, the discovery will be presented in a historical perspective, emphasizing the previous controversies related to the discovery.
Length of assignment:

Assignment #2
The second assignment will focus on the social, economic and, possibly, political impact of the discovery.(6 pages revised) The presentation should be addressed to a lay audience who is interested in the natural sciences and its impact on our society, but without having any formal education in modern physics. The style should be similar to the articles published in the science section of newspapers and magazines. The essay will describe in simple terms the discovery, by emphasizing the conditions under which it occurred, and the impact it had in the evolution of modern physics, as well as, on our everyday life. The implications of the discovery can, and should be linked to any relevant subsequent discovery of similar or even greater importance. For example: the discovery of the transistor lead to the discovery of the integrated circuit (microchip), another Nobel Prize winning discovery, which radically changed the entire human civilization. Each student will submit a paper (let's call it first draft) that will be reviewed by myself and another student so that the student who wrote the paper will have, hopefully, enough feedback to revise the draft. Then the student will turn in the revised version (final version) of the paper that I will read and grade.
Length of assignment:

Total pages for all assignments:
First drafts:

Writing Intensive Teaching

Instructor provided feedback
Peer review
The draft version of the paper will be reviewed by a peer and the instructor. The final version revised draft will be graded by the instructor.
Both papers could serve this purpose. The first assignment will focus on the controversial aspect of the Nobel Prize winning discovery. In general, it takes some time until the importance and validity of a major scientific discovery is fully appreciated by the scientific community. It is quite common, that during this time (which may coincide with the time elapsed between the date the discovery was made and the date when the Nobel Prize was awarded), as well as, the time preceding the discovery, several competing interpretations and explanations of the phenomena and concepts related to the discovery are put forward by the experts in the field. The second assignment, which focuses on the social, economic, and political impact of the discovery, could also be open to different interpretations in terms of its impact on society.
The writing assignments will be distributed uniformly throughout the entire semester. The first paper will be completed during the first half of the semester, while the second assignment during the second half of the semester. The exams and homework assignments will contain short essay questions besides problem solving. The solution to the assigned problems will require a clear presentation of the reasoning, as well as the results and their physical interpretation.
20 % homework assignments, 50% exams

Course Syllabus

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Administrative Information

Natural and Applied Sciences
contacted for more information on how her writing assignments relate to ?scientific writing? 3/15/2016


I have read and reviewed the updated proposal

Additional Comments

Patricia Luckenotte (luckenottep) (Tue, 01 Nov 2016 20:53:55 GMT): I have added PHYSCS 3150W, 01 to the Summer 2017 schedule of classes and cancelled he regular PHYSCS 3150, 01 for Summer 2017.
Key: 420